Sustainable Bees & Queens

for Everyone using low-cost, simple methods

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle climate.

Defra has recently conducted a Queen Replacement Survey that shows the majority of beekeepers prefer home-reared queens but need help to produce them. In addition, many BKAs are unable to produce enough bees for their beginners and queens to head them.

In response to the obvious need the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) are staging a series of one day regional events during the 2018/19 winter. These are to help and encourage everyone from the small-scale beekeeper upwards and BKAs to produce bees and queens from local stock, by using simple techniques that may be little more than a variation of what many beekeepers already do and at little or no cost.

CHANGING PLACES?  If you have already booked on another ‘Sustainable Bees’ event and wish to change to another venue, please email

Please spread the word about these events.  Ask your local BKA secretary to email details to the membership.

Topics include:-

  • Why raise queens?
  • Addressing perceived problems in producing queens in the U.K.
  • Overwintering bees and queens.
  • Demystifying queen rearing.
  • Simple queen rearing methods.
  • Simple and efficient ways to produce nuclei.
  • Suggested methods for BKAs to supply bees and queens to members/beginners.
  • Methods for small and larger quantities.
  • Benefits of teaching apiaries.
  • Queen rearing facility in teaching apiaries.
  • Queen rearing as a collective exercise.
  • Producing bees and queens, yet still getting a good honey crop.
  • Including queen rearing and bee improvement in BKA teaching programmes.
  • Reducing winter losses.
  • Other events that provide relevant tuition.

It will be helpful to beekeepers of all abilities from beginners to the most experienced, as well as BKA officials, beekeeping teachers, apiary managers, and demonstrators.

The all-day event (10.00am-4.00pm) costs £11/head (around 30% of the price of one queen and 5-10% of a nuc!). Refreshments will be provided, but please provide your own lunch. Booking must be made in advance.


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